Water is life. Without it, we can’t survive. Staying hydrated (or not) impacts our health; every system of the body down to the individual cells requires water to function. Without enough water your body can’t perform properly, which can lead to serious health problems over time.
Common Symptoms of Dehydration: fatigue, dizziness, muscle cramps, headaches, back pain.
Yes, BACK PAIN.
Dehydration causes stress on your spine. Here’s why:
The little discs that are wedged between the vertebrae protect the spine by absorbing the shock of your movements. These jelly-like cushions keep your bones from rubbing together by releasing and absorbing water.
The discs rely on fluid to function. When there isn’t enough water in the body for the discs to absorb, they shrink. When they shrink, they offer less support to the spine.
Less shock absorption → More stress on the spine → Swelling → Pain and discomfort
Simply drinking water throughout the day can relieve and prevent back pain!
Did you know you are tallest in the morning?
It’s true. By the end of the day you are ¼ – ½ inch shorter than you were when you woke up!
Why? The spinal discs release and absorb water throughout the day with movement and gravity, which causes them to shrink and expand. Overnight, they are able to fully rehydrate so when you get out of bed the spine is elongated.
Movement and water intake help hydrate the discs during the day.
Try it! Increase your daily intake of water and stretch periodically throughout the day. Bringing water and movement to your discs will help them rehydrate and function properly, keeping your back pain at bay.
How hydrated are you?
*Here’s a test: Pinch the skin on the top of your hand. If it quickly goes back to normal, you are hydrated. If it stays pinched and slowly returns to normal, you are dehydrated.
Rule of thumb: Drink half of your weight in ounces.
Example: 150 lbs /2 = 75 ounces of water (roughly 9 cups of water per day)
If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Don’t wait for it to get to that point. Drinking throughout the day is the best way to ensure hydration.